How Do You Like To Color?


If you don’t already think I’ve done flipped my lid by now, you probably will after this.

Am I really going to break down an analysis of how I colored a baby Elmo picture?

Yes I am. I’m going for it. Grab a seat!

I learned long ago to stay in the kitchen anytime I am cooking hard boiled eggs.

So I stood at the kitchen island and went through my to-do list while my toddler played with cars next to me (and by that I mean he banged them loudly everywhere).

I caught a glimpse of his Elmo coloring book in my peripheral. I thumbed through it and saw an adorable coloring page of a baby Elmo.

I cocked my head to the side and I thought, you know, red Elmo would look nice in a baby blue diaper with a corresponding blue pacifier, and a nice bright center color to make it all pop.

Then I was like what! That’s a kids book! I’m an adult. I need to schedule bills and project income and form a budget!

So as soon as my toddler took a nap and I got the eggs safely off the stove, I grabbed the twistable colored pencils nearby and I sat down at the table and colored the picture.


And it was fabulous.

I was in control, it was all about me, I controlled the colors, I controlled the pace, I did it exactly the way I wanted and no one was there to stop me or have an opinion.

Now I know why kids like to color so much.

How do you like to color? Do you remember? I think the way a person colors a picture says a lot about them. Fast and furious, or cautious and methodical? Maybe a combo?

I remember my first day of preschool.

My dad was probably late for work. He stayed to do puzzles with me to help me relax but I was scared. No way was I staying in an unknown environment without a fight. Will I be ok here?

I remember my beloved teacher, Mrs. Delp. She tried to help me relax, bless her.

I remember she smelled good. I told her once that she smelled like brownies. It was probably very awkward for her, but she took it in stride, and I promise it was a grand compliment.

She and my dad walked me over to the big table where all the other kids were, happy and excited.

They were finger painting as a first day warm-up activity. There was a spot just for me, with a big glop of red finger paint on the big white paper.

But there no way was I touching that stuff, and I cried. I hate to get my hands dirty. I wanted to keep them nice and neat.


I just wanted to hang back and observe first. I did eventually relax and smile for this picture.

I’m a lot of the same now. Cautious, not making any sudden moves, really checking things out first to make sure it’s safe to relax. Always looking ahead for a safety net. Planning.

I think coloring is a lot like life. I like to color by safely outlining the perimeter of whatever piece I’m coloring. Like Elmo’s diaper here.


After it’s outlined, I’m okay to get a little crazier on the inside. But I want to know where I’m headed first.


I actually spent a lot of time thinking out the colors and planning ahead, weighing all options.


The bear was unfortunate. It doesn’t always work out like you planned.

I didn’t have a brown, and the green really seemed like a good idea at the time. But hey, this slow, methodical non-risk-taker took a risk. Can’t win ’em all.

I would imagine that a wilder, crazier, confident, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants type would color something a lot different.  Wild colors, using the sharp edges, coloring outside the lines.

I would love to see all of the different Elmos there would be. Different Elmos aren’t bad Elmos. They’re just different.

Maybe I’ll do it differently one day. But for now, I like things nice and neat.

So see, I learned something about myself, and I don’t owe anyone a co-pay. Win-win.

You should try this!

Anyone that’s ever had a little person in their house for more than 5 minutes probably has a stack of half used coloring books and crayons.


Think you don’t have time?

Have you ever mindless scrolled through social media and at the end of an hour wished you could get that time back?

I certainly have.

You have time. This is better.

How do you like to color? Do you remember?

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